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Australia's Defense Department says two Australian soldiers have been killed in separate incidents in Afghanistan.

The deaths on May 30 brought to 26 the number of Australians killed in the Afghan conflict since Australian forces deployed to the country in late 2001.

In one of the incidents, officials said an Afghan soldier shot dead an Australian soldier colleague when they were on guard duty together at Patrol Base Marshal, in the Chora Valley in Uruzgan Province.

The Associated Press reports that the Afghan soldier suspect fled the scene of the incident.

Officials said the second Australian soldier, a lieutenant, died in a Chinook helicopter crash.

Australia has some 1,550 soldiers deployed in Afghanistan, many focused on training Afghan Army soldiers to take over security duties in Uruzgan Province.

compiled from agency reports
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